About New Partners for Smart Growth

New Partners for Smart Growth arrives in the “Queen City,”
February 3-5, 2011.

About the Event

The 2011 New Partners Conference will head east to Charlotte, NC. More than a NASCAR mecca and a financial epicenter, this burgeoning hub of the Southeast has the excitement of a cosmopolitan city, yet maintains the friendliness of a small town with Southern charm.

Today, we are faced with environmental, social and economic challenges that will define our generation, shape our future, and test our resilience as neighborhoods, cities and a nation. Join leaders from across the U.S. as we tackle these challenges head-on and demonstrate smart growth solutions that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create a green economy, assure a healthy population, foster more equitable development, and expand transportation and housing options for all Americans

In these tough economic times when communities everywhere are struggling for fiscal survival, this timely conference will identify innovative ways to finance smart growth, explore creative techniques for reducing infrastructure and service costs, and provide concrete ideas for employing smart growth as a tool for economic vitality.

Working Together

dad and sonA significant factor in this event’s tremendous success is its appeal to so many different disciplines. The conference will draw an audience of local elected officials, city and county staff, planners, transportation professionals and traffic engineers, public health professionals, advocates for social equity and environmental justice, developers and builders, architects, landscape architects, bankers, realtors, urban designers, parks and recreation professionals, bicycle and pedestrian advocates, school superintendents and board members and facilities staff, environmentalists, crime prevention professionals, advocates for older adults and youth, labor representatives, and all others committed to building safer, healthier, and more livable communities everywhere.

The Program

The program will span three full days. There will be some pre-conference events scheduled for Wednesday, February 2nd, but the main program will kick-off on Thursday morning, February 3rd and continue through Saturday afternoon. The three-day schedule includes a dynamic mix of plenaries, breakouts, implementation workshops, specialized trainings, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, and coordinated networking activities. It will also feature exciting tours of local model projects in Charlotte and the greater Charlotte-Mecklenburg region.

There will be something for everybody, from veteran experts to smart-growth novices, with over 100 sessions and workshops to choose from. Learn from hundreds of speakers who cross disciplines to share insights, valuable tools and strategies for making smart growth a success in your community. The program will be infused with sessions and case studies focusing on important equity and environmental justice issues.

NPSG Lifetime Achievement Award

In 2007, the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference began recognizing significant leaders in the smart growth movement whose body of work over many years has served to make communities everywhere safer, healthier and more livable. The hard work of and dedication of these leaders are both measurable and inspirational, and has truly made a positive impact on the world.

The New Partners for Smart Growth Lifetime Achievement Award is presented annually at the conference.

Conference History

The origins of this smart growth conference can be traced to late 1995 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency first launched its smart growth program. As part of this effort, they looked to organize a national conference that would focus on environmentally sensitive growth and development.

StreetscapeIn December 1997, the EPA, together with the Urban Land Institute, co-sponsored the first "Partners for Smart Growth" conference. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of that first groundbreaking event. Conferences followed in Austin in 1998, then San Diego and finally, in Atlanta. The LGC participated in the San Diego conference, organizing a third day focused on smart growth in the Western States.

The LGC began organizing conferences on "livable communities" somewhat earlier, producing five installments of its highly successful “Putting Our Communities Back on Their Feet Conference” on the East and West Coasts in the mid-to-late 1990’s.

In 2001, the LGC partnered with the Centers for Disease Control, the California Department of Transportation and Penn State University to produce a “first of its kind” national, multidisciplinary event titled "Redesigning Community: A Smart Growth Approach to Street and Neighborhood Design, Crime Prevention, and Public Health and Safety" in San Diego.

Immediately following that event, the EPA approached the LGC about merging their collective efforts. Addressing the key issues on the table in 2001 through 2008, the appropriately titled "New Partners for Smart Growth" multidisciplinary conference has been offered successively in San Diego, New Orleans, Portland, Miami, Denver, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Albuquerque.

The strength of the conference comes from the diversity of participants who cross disciplinary lines to share experiences and insights, valuable implementation tools and strategies. The 2010 event continues this exciting trend and will include even more new partners who recognize smart growth as a viable solution to the problems they face in their own professions.

With the difficult challenges our nation is currently facing, there are more reasons than ever to join hands with new partners and work toward our common goal of creating safe, healthy, walkable, economically vibrant and livable communities for all.